US Navy destroyer takes on water after collision, crew members reported missing


PHILIPPINE SEA — USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) was involved in a collision with a merchant vessel around 2:30 a.m. local time, June 17, while operating about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, the US Navy says.

The Japanese Coast Guard is on scene and providing assistance at the request of the U.S. Navy. Japan Coast Guard cutters IZUNAMI and KANO are on station, as well as a helicopter.

The USS Fitzgerald is “under her own power, although her propulsion is limited,” officials said. The vessel is believed to be taking on water. Japan broadcaster NHK says seven U.S Navy ship members are unaccounted for—this was not confirmed by the Navy.

The USS Fitzgerald suffered damage on her starboard side above and below the waterline. The collision resulted in flooding. The ship’s crew is responding to the casualty incident. The full extent of damage was not known.

The USS Dewey (DDG 105), medical assistance and two Navy tugs are being dispatched as quickly as practicable to provide assistance. Naval aircraft are also being readied.